Enlarge / Congressman Randy Weber feeling curious about some atmospheric science.
House Science Committee hearings on climate change are many things to many people.

For members of the committee, they are typically soapbox pageants, with long, blustery declarations punctuated by leading questions to witnesses who have been invited because they will give a desired answer.

For well-known contrarians who reject most of the conclusions of climate science, they are a platform to wax martyrish about why the entire field doesn’t believe them.

And for scientists (and humble journalists) who know the topic, they are primarily generators of head-to-desk contact and almost hazardously vigorous eye-rolling.
On Wednesday, the committee held a hearing that was none of these things.
To be fair, it was a subcommittee hearing that didn’t feature the full roster of members, but there is reason to believe that made no difference.
So why the departure? The topic of the hearing was not the human actions responsible for global warming or the emissions cuts necessary to halt it.
Instead, the committee discussed the science of geoengineering: the techniques that could potentially be employed to intentionally manipulate the climate in ways that would limit climate change.
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